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The Russula Phenomenon

The Russula Phenomenon
Photo Information
Copyright: Laszlo Kaposvari (Hormon_Manyer) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1472 W: 308 N: 2610] (10251)
Genre: Fungi
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-07-13
Categories: Fungi
Camera: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ50
Exposure: f/2.8, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Fungi of Hungary [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-09-06 9:07
Viewed: 4837
Points: 28
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Russula Phenomenon

Although species of Russula genus seems like any other fungi with cap and gills, they (and Lactarius genera, too) are quite different from them. Except for these two generas every kind of fungi with cap and gills belong to the several families of Agaricales order (Basidiomycetes class, Homobasidiomycetes subclass), which means they aren't closed relatives at all.

Why? Because species of Russulales order (Russulaceae family, Russula and Lactarius genus) have very different cell structure: they - unlike any other fungi - also contain partially globular cells in the cap and stem flesh named "sclaerocystas". When breaking the fruitbody, You hear cracking noise, caused by the effusion of air from sclaerocystas.

These 2 generas are very easy to identify, even to beginners, as generas. What's much more difficult, in some cases impossible without experience or / and microscopical analysis, is identifying the species. You have to taste a very little bit of the gills - if they're hot, the mushroom's inedible (with Lactarius species the case is even more difficult, because they have milk, and sometimes the taste of milk is hot while the one of the flesh isn't or vice versa). Please check out what zipcodezoo writes about Russulas.

Nobody knows how many species Russula genus has. Index Fungorum mentions 2407 taxons, but several of them are variants, subspecies or invalid synonyms, while the also linked zipcodezoo writes about 942. What's sure there are many, many Russula species. Most of them are edible, but except for a very few not too delicious. There are inedible species, toxic ones causing gastrointestinal troubles, and there's a deadly toxic one, too, Russula subnigricans, living in the East Asian subtropical / tropical region (be careful, Foozi!).

This time I show a typical one, Russula vesca. Very common in Hungary, mostly in broad-leaved forests. Edible. On the workshop version You can see the typical Russula gills (same specie, but photographed elsewhere).

Photo: after making some pics in a very dark pine forest, I found this nice group around birch trees. But I forgot to set my camera back from ISO 1600 which I had to use in the dark in order to get faster shutter speed - I've done all the noise reducing procedure, or even more, and I truly hope You find the image useful in this form.

Thanx for looking and reading, I hope this long note didn't bore You out of hell. Cheers, László

nglen, rousettus, uleko, shree, chudy, cloud, maurydv, foozi, red45, amanengone has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-09-06 9:13]

Hi Laszlo . Firstly thanks for the interesting notes on theis fungi. You have taken them with fine detail and natural colours. You did well i nthe dark pine forest, Taken from a fine low POV. well done TFS.

Hi Laszlo,
I also like mushroom shots from nature. sometimes I also take their photographs.
you nicely captured and presented these fungi, with nice focus, POV and composition with pine pines. Thanks for sharing and thanks for informative notes,
have a nice week

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-09-06 9:37]

Hello Laszlo,
Our fungi season has only just began as we haven't had enough rain, but hopefully we'll find some edible species within a week or two. This is a fine composition showing a group of this species very clearly and in natural colours.
TFS and regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • chudy Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 130 W: 0 N: 176] (899)
  • [2009-09-06 9:45]

Siemanko Wladyslaw!
Nice natural colours and the very good note with the workshop. Of nice week.
I am greeting Slawek

Another piece of information from you, Laszlo! On TN, you are one of those people who are the greatest teacher of what they specialize in. And also of photography.

Very nice photograph of this interesting fungi. And an equally informative note. I learned something new today. :)


  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2009-09-06 9:48]

Wonderful capture this fungus.
Natural colors of environment,I see this in forest very frequent in forest of Transylvania.

  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2009-09-06 10:30]

Hello Laszlo.
From Russula genus is Russula aeruginea. In fungi atlas is written this species is inedible. I and my wife gather them from 55 years and know that is tasty mushroom which used to soup or fried in frying pan. Such as yours on photo are rather few taste. I like view in natural environment.
Regards, Pawel

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-09-06 14:48]

Hi Laszlo,excellent idea the different and high point of view today,the better way to learn these fungi so perfecty.Another very nice specie in a beautiful composition,excellent sharpness and natural colors too.Have a nice week! Luciano

Ciao Laszlo, beautiful family of lovely fungi, splendid natural colors, fine details and excellent sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

Ciao Laszlo,
a very beautiful picture of Russula, a very good POV showing the peculiarities of the habitat, splendid natural colours in a nice composition.
Best regards

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-09-09 0:18]

Hi Laszlo,
this is a lovely pix showint its originality and surroundins. With the fallen leaves untouch ( I know it might damage the soft hat ).
The notes are indeed very informative, and the tips are very useful indeed. The would never be anyone telling us about the habit and habitat in this deep and useful way. Thanks again Laszlo.
The curl is quite similar with the one I sent.


Very interesting and nice color reproduction of a fungus species, much like your photo. Congratulations.

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2009-09-13 10:44]

Hi László!

Boring? You must be joking. I love this kind of notes. Not wikipedia copy-paste, but written by you and full of very interesting facts about russula. I remember when I was young we often went to forests around Lodz to looking for fungi. My grandmother was real expert in this field and she often gathered three different kinds of russula - yellow, green and red (yes, red too, in tasty variant). I loved to go mushrooming! I love it also today, but rather with my cam. BTW - I founded few Russula aeruginea yesterday :-) They aren't in my last post, because they're founded outside Botanic Garden, but I'll try to post them soon. Sorry for these digressions :-) Back to your post - very good photo and excellent note. I hope autumn will be full of fungi!

  • Great 
  • roges Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 0 N: 1329] (6264)
  • [2009-09-17 11:59]

Jó estét László,
Kitűnő kép. Nagyon tiszta néhány kivételes szín.
Nagyon jó leírás.
Egy szép este,

Hello Laslo.

Congratulations for that photography from Russula. Excellent composition and interesting point of view. Very good colors and sharpness. I appreciate also the very informative and well detailed note.

Thank you for the sharing.

Hope to see you another time on treknature.

All the best.


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